Art Project Celebrates Heart of Island Communities

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

The Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers communities have a lot of heart – and the proof of that will soon be on public display in a unique fundraising effort to support affordable housing.

Known as HEART ART, the fundraiser will bring large, beautiful heart sculptures to public spaces throughout the area. The sculptures are designed by 16 local artists, known as HEARTISTS, who donated their time and talent to help raise support for Community Housing & Resources.

“We’re excited to host this fundraiser to drive our affordable housing work while honoring the thing that makes our communities special: our collective heart to make a difference,” said Nicole McHale, CHR Executive Director.

HEART ART is the latest in CHR’s public art projects that have delighted residents and visitors for the past several years. Each heart sculpture is about four feet high and 3½ feet wide. They will be on display at businesses and other locations throughout the area from mid-November until February 2024.

Among the featured artists is Kym Mason, an interior designer at Island Interiors of Sanibel. A 19-year resident, her “Birds of a Feather” sculpture celebrates the spirit and perseverance of the community.

“I love the islands and have lent my time and talents to many local charities and community causes during my years here,” Mason said. “The beauty Sanibel and Captiva have been my muse for years. Now the community spirit and perseverance of the people of Sanibel and Captiva are my inspiration.”

On Feb. 3, CHR will host the Give Your Heart To CHR Gallery Gala at the Sanibel Community House. Mason’s sculpture along with the others will be up for auction, with attendees bidding on their favorites. Tickets to the Gala are available online at

McHale said CHR is deeply indebted to the local HEARTISTS who shared their talents for this fundraiser: Anna Hicks, Arlene Stigum, Cheryl Logan, Eric Riemenschneider, Erica Sharp, Ginny Dickinson, Kristina Jackson, JP Almonacid, Kym Mason, Lacy McClary, Mary Klunk, Rachel Pierce, Rena Martinson, Taryn Manning, Toni Westland and Whitney Hackett.

About Community Housing & Resources
Community Housing & Resources, Inc. (CHR) is a 501 (c) (3) Not for Profit organization with the mission to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work and who serve our island communities. CHR (Community Housing and Resources, Inc.) was formed in 1979 as a 501(c)(3) No for Profit organization to address the growing need for affordable housing in the Sanibel community. In 1983, an ordinance was passed by the City of Sanibel that established the Affordable Housing Program and CHR was designated as the city’s housing foundation. Today, CHR owns 87 affordable housing units at various locations on Sanibel, including 73 rental properties — one of which is a 12-unit complex just for senior residents — and 14 Limited Equity Ownership (LEO) homes through the Coast and Islands Community Land Trust. Website:

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